The Rise of the Robots

Automation and technology, along with a do-it-yourself culture, contribute to greater productivity and fewer jobs, with some developments more disruptive for labor and select industries than others. Countries, particularly the most developed, must consider the prospect of running out of jobs, and not just for the low-skilled, writes political economist Robert Skidelsky for Project Syndicate. Technology has gradually decreased the need for high-skilled positions in manufacturing and the same is happening for education, health care, law, data analysis and research. Structural unemployment is on the rise, with countries accepting an 8 percent unemployment rate as normal rather than the 2 or 5 percent levels of just a few decades ago. Individuals should appreciate the extra leisure time rather than pursue high incomes, and governments should organize policies around part-time jobs and work-sharing agreements, Skidelsky argues. A revolution in social thinking could counter the technology revolution, he maintains, if gains from automation were distributed fairly in society rather than pocketed from a few. – YaleGlobal

The Rise of the Robots

Governments must develop policies as technology eliminates jobs in manufacturing, education, health care and more - with few new jobs on the horizon
Robert Skidelsky
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Robert Skidelsky, professor emeritus of political economy at Warwick University and a fellow of the British Academy in history and economics, is a member of the British House of Lords. The author of a three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes, he began his political career in the Labour Party, became the Conservative Party’s spokesman for Treasury affairs in the House of Lords, and was eventually forced out of the Conservative Party for his opposition to NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999.
(c) 1995-2013 Project Syndicate

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